Why can’t Voice and SMS be unlimited too?
We’ve been doing voice calls and sending SMS on our mobile phone for over a decade now. Recently, we’re also sending data over 3G as well. But unlike mobile internet that can be had for unlimited use, why can’t we also get the same with voice and SMS?
If you looked that their annual financial results, it’s easy to spot that voice and SMS brings a huge chunk of their profits so I don’t think they’d let it go easily.
However, we’ve seen these unlimited offerings in some “limited” way now:
- Unlimited text to numbers on the same network for a daily flat fee with limited number of free text to other networks.
- Unlimited free calls to any landline number within your area code for a flat monthly subscription.
- Unlimited calls to all mobile numbers within your network and sister network for a fixed daily or monthly fee.
But why the limitations? Voice and SMS basically take up bandwidth similar to mobile internet. A single sent SMS should be around 140 bytes which is relatively very small. If we can get unlimited internet on our mobile phone for Php1,200 per month, why can’t we get the same rates for voice and SMS?
There’s only one technically I can think of that might be an answer to this — interconnection fees. Carriers pay a fix amount for every interconnections they make to other carriers. It’s like the toll fee we pay to go from EDSA to NLEX.
That’s the reason carriers can offer unlimited services within their network but not outside. Unless that interconnection fee gets dropped, I don’t think we’d see something truly unlimited. Well, unless everybody goes Skype.